Shag Point Nature Reserve

Shag Point Nature Reserve, Palmerston: Address, Shag Point Nature Reserve Reviews: 4.5/5

Shag Point Nature Reserve
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Read more
Write a review
About
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
75 reviews
Excellent
40
Very good
32
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Kiwiseley
Auckland Central, New Zealand390 contributions
Hadn't been to shag point before so made point of visiting. The reserve has plenty of parking. We decided to go for the short walk towards the sea and were sauntering along when I nearly stepped onto a seal basking in the grass. On further inspection there were others nearby, so we gave them a wide berth and carried on.
When we got to then end of the path we peered over the edge and startled about four seals which were on a ledge below. They rushed away into the water and swam at speed to get clear of us. There must have been another twenty of so which were not bothered by us.
Written May 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bernard R
Whangarei, New Zealand1,047 contributions
Couples
Just a very short drive off State Highway 1 not far south of Oamaru this place is well worth a visit. A short two minute walk from the car park opens up onto flat rocky outcrops adjacent to the sea, where seals are basking and playing together close enough to photograph. Make the effort you will not be disappointed.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JCB
Purmerend, The Netherlands707 contributions
After the Moeraki Boulders and on our way to Dunedin we stopped at Shag Point, hoping to see some fur seals. Acces is easy. There's a car park (free of charge) and then you just walk on a path towards the cliffs and keep your eyes out. It takes some effort to actually spot them, for the seals blend in with their background. We saw one sleeping and one rolling around in seaweed. Not that far away even. Besides that, this place looks really nice, with the brown cliffs with green seaweed and dark blue waters. Take your time and enjoy.
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lorraine C
Auckland Central, New Zealand992 contributions
Got to the car park and the sign said 5 minute walk. 30 seconds latter you are at the Seal vantage point, so really easy to get to. And there are hundreds of Seals to watch and take photos of. Spent a bit of time watching nature, very relaxing.
Written September 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Maree R
Christchurch, New Zealand800 contributions
Stunning spot to with lovely views over the rocks to the sea. Saw plenty of shags in flight and even more seals sunning themselves on the rocks. Well worth the short drive from the main road.
Written December 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Toni-Wayne
Christchurch, New Zealand457 contributions
Well worth a short drive off state highway one to check out the seals. From the car park, it’s a 3 min walk too see them basking in the sun and playing in the sea.
Written January 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PassarinhoAzul
Dunedin, New Zealand1,179 contributions
Friends
If you are driving from Dunedin to Oamaru or vice versa, and it's a nice day, turn off to see Shag Point. Shortly after you've turned off SH1, before continuing onto Shag Point, pull over to look down at the southern end of Katiki Beach to see the Katiki Boulders (most visible at low tide). These are the lesser-known, and far-less visited cousins of the Moeraki Boulders (yet they are no less round and just as old).

Shag Point may not be as scenic as its spectacular coastal neighbors to the south, the Otago Peninsula's Taiaroa Head and the Catlins' Nugget Point, or its northerly neighbor, Katiki Point, but is has lovely coastal views and is historically significant.

Those who've visited Dunedin's excellent Otago Museum might have seen its 7-metre-long plesiosaur fossil. It was excavated near Shag Point and some of the Katiki Boulders contain plesiosaur and mosasaur bone fragments. The plesiosaurs were Late-Cretaceous-period marine reptiles who went extinct along with the dinosaurs after a giant asteroid hit the earth about 66 million years ago.

Shag Point, or Matakaea, was also home to a Maori settlement in about the 12th century. At the mouth of the Shag River, south of Shag Point, excavations have revealed middens full of moa bones and Maori artifacts such as adzes and fish hooks (you can see these in the Otago Museum as well). In the 1800s, whalers arrived at Shag Point. Later, the area was mined for coal.

Today, Shag Point serves as a wildlife sanctuary. In summer juvenile fur seals haul out onto the rocks off Shag Point. Shags can be seen at Shag Point year-round.

There are a few Yellow Eyed Penguins here as well. Please give wildlife lots of space, respect their privacy (because this is their home), and try to not let them see you. The Katiki Point Penguins Trust asks visitors to stay 5 metres (15 feet) away from penguins, to not use camera flashes, and not chase or surround them; these are an endangered protected species.

According to Photovolcanica.com: "Stress may not only cause nest abandonment but also may result in higher energy expenditure (e.g. via an increased heart-rate). Consequently, parental birds may require more energy themselves, thus leaving less food for the chicks." And NZ Birds Online states: "Unregulated and relatively high intensity disturbance by tourists is associated with reduced breeding success and lower chick weights at fledging, which results in lower first year survival and recruitment probabilities."

So if the endangered YEP is to survive, it will need your help.

To read more about Shag Point:
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-visit/otago/coastal-otago/shag-point-matakaea/
http://motorcamps.com/content/shag-point
http://nzfrenzysouth.wordpress.com/e10/
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/192697/seaside-community-offers-peace-and-simplicity-life

YEP viewing protocol.
http://www.yellow-eyedpenguin.org.nz/penguins/value-to-the-environment/viewing-protocol
Written August 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sdg_77
Leamington Spa, UK51 contributions
Couples
Another place we found from the New Zealand Frenzy guide book, and a great place for a short stop. We saw seals and enjoyed the fine coastal views but there's not much else to see, perhaps that is the attraction?
Written August 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Roman W
Zürich107 contributions
Take a long lens and if you are lucky wih the weather, you will definitely get some perfect Pictures of furred seals. Depending on the Season, you will see the Young ones playing arround while the older ones just sleep..easy to Access by car and just some meeters avay from the car park.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stacey L
Canberra, Australia186 contributions
Family
Rugged coastline with a few viewing points to watch seals do their thing. The car park is close by and the point is easy to find.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 63
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Shag Point Nature Reserve


Restaurants near Shag Point Nature Reserve: View all restaurants near Shag Point Nature Reserve on Tripadvisor